Thursday, 8 June 2017


The life of an aspiring physician is busy juggling, challenging medical courses, preparing for USMLE and staying on top of all the extra- curricular activities. The significance of medically oriented extra-curricular activities is that it helps one build interest in the medical field.
The most common of these activities that the medical student pursue are as follows,

Shadowing: Shadowing a physician means following him or her in the hospital during daily duty hours, sitting in during patient appointments, speaking with families processing and interpreting lab tests and observing the routine of a physician in the hospital. To find these opportunities, the student should approach family friends who are physicians, ask faculty members if they have colleagues as practicing physicians who can help in the process of shadowing.

Hospital Volunteerism: Many major hospitals (some private clinics) have opportunities for medical students to help out on the floors by talking to patients, assisting in patient transfers or performing medicine distribution. One may feel like sitting at a desk directing patient’s families is not contributing much to the medical experience, but it can be a valuable first step in gaining medical exposure. Volunteer training cycle is a popular activity among the medical students.

Community and International Outreach: These outreach programs includes local community initiatives (Covenant house, a nonprofit charity for homeless and marginalized youth; The Ronal McDonald house, charities and volunteering at nursing homes) as well as national and international opportunities alternatives and spring break trips, and programs through WHO.

These are a few suggestive medically oriented extra-curricular activities. They are all about quality, not just quantity; an important take away is ‘Do these activities if you enjoy doing them’. Medical schools do not sit there with a checklist in hand, noting if you have completed all the above activities. Rather it’s all about how you prove your interest in medical field by being consistent in at least one of them.



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